Do you tell stories to your customers or give them a one-two sales punch right from the start? Are you a carnival barker or a Martin Luther King whose “I Have a Dream” story on the mount of the Lincoln Memorial sold millions on the morality of civil rights?
Amanda Palmer used the power of storytelling on Kickstarter to raise $1.2 million to produce her music album. As HubSpot recounted in a post on storytelling, the singer-songwriter dressed herself a kimono and, flipping handmade signs, explained she was a musician, who had parted ways with her record label because they told her the cost of her next album would be a whopping $500,000.
But she and her partners couldn’t finish producing the record on their own. She needed people’s help to get it off the ground.
Palmer videotaped herself and uploaded it to Kickstarter. She tells her story in this TED talk, entitled “The Art of Asking.” Music pundits were askance that she began by giving away her music before she did the “ask.”
As she says in her talk, “And the media asked, ‘Amanda, the music business is tanking and you encourage piracy. How did you make all these people pay for music?’ And the real answer is, I didn’t make them. I asked them. And through the very act of asking people, I’d connected with them, and when you connect with them, people want to help you.”
She says further, “I think people have been obsessed with the wrong question, which is, ‘How do we make people pay for music?” What if we started asking, “How do we let people pay for music?”
That’s the question we all need to ask ourselves. How can we connect with people so they want to buy from us? It’s simple, really. Engage them by becoming a compelling storyteller that develops lasting relationships with your buyers.